Zespri and Pagoda promote new red kiwi fruit in Chinese market

Source: Fresh Plaza

Zespri and Pagoda have jointly organized a festive ceremony to celebrate the introduction of Zespri’s new red kiwi fruit onto the Chinese market. The ceremony took place on the 26th of April and its theme was “healthy life and premium fruit go hand in hand”.

Zespri introduced their new red kiwi fruit during the ceremony. The company has worked more than 10 years on the research and cultivation of this new kiwi fruit variety. A limited volume of the new red kiwi fruit was for sale in Pagoda’s brick-and-mortar store in Shanghai as well as in the online flagship store of Zespri on e-commerce platform Tmall, which is exclusively managed by Pagoda.

Meanwhile, as both companies continue to improve the health of Chinese consumers, the two parties will also explore cooperation in areas of public welfare to further improve living standards in China.

Zespri and Pagoda introduce the new red kiwi fruit variety

The New Zealand consul general in Shanghai, Mike Roger; the New Zealand commercial liaison in Shanghai, Deng Yi; the CEO of Zespri China, Jiang Shijie; the head of marketing, Huang Guohui; the head of sales, Lu Tao; the head of public relations, Ivan; the vice-chairman of Pagoda Group, Tian Xiqiu; the vice-chairman and head of international purchasing, Zhu Qidong; the head of the marketing center, Yang Qian; the vice-chairman in charge of the commodity center and head of the six departments, Xu Xi; and regional head of Shanghai, Wu Chongwu all attended the ceremony.

The relations between China and New Zealand go back for 49 years. The two countries have always been on a friendly footing. New Zealand fruit is incredibly popular in the Chinese market. Zespri kiwi fruit is the most obvious example. Zespri kiwi fruit is among the world’s most well-known fruit brands, and China is already the largest market for Zespri kiwi fruit. Mike Roger, the New Zealand consul general in Shanghai expressed gratitude towards Chinese consumers for their unwavering love and support of Zespri kiwi fruit. He hopes the countries will maintain strong commercial and cultural cooperation and continue their long-lasting friendship.

Zespri red kiwi fruit

Zespri aims for food safety, freshness, health, and delicious flavor. Every single piece of Zespri kiwi fruit that leaves New Zealand has to meet their rigorous standards and pass the 12 steps of their quality management system. This is the only way to guarantee the highest product quality.

Zespri supplies kiwi fruit to 54 countries across the globe. Their annual export value is around 2 billion New Zealand dollars [1.45 billion USD]. China is the largest single market for New Zealand kiwi fruit. The Chinese markets absorbs around 30% of the annual export volume of Zespri kiwi fruit. This year the sales volume is expected to increase by 10%-15% in comparison with last year.

The head of Zespri China, Jiang Shijie, announced during the ceremony that “this is the first time ‘red kiwi fruit’ enters the Chinese market. The Chinese market has strategic significance for Zespri. At the same time, their choice to cooperate with Pagoda is an indication of the growing bond between the two companies. Pagoda is the largest retail channel for Zespri kiwi fruit in China. The two are a match made in heaven. They both share the same goal to “help all the people in the world enjoy a fresh, fruity life”.

Zhu Qidong, vice-chairman of the Pagoda Group and head of international purchasing

Zespri and Pagoda began working together in 2018. They opened the Zespri flagship store on e-commerce platform Tmall in 2019. This flagship store is exclusively managed by Pagoda. Zespri also acknowledged Pagoda as their ‘most ideal retail partner’ in that same year. After Covid-19 broke out in 2020, the two companies jointly donated three trucks full of Zespri kiwi fruit to hospitals in Wuhan. In the last three years alone, Pagoda has sold more than 160 million pieces of Zespri kiwi fruit. They are easily the foremost retailer of Zespri kiwi fruit in China.

“Working together with Pagoda has enabled Zespri to rapidly expand their position in the Chinese market. The two parties regularly participate in high-level information exchange to further develop their close cooperation. Their strategic cooperation has moved beyond simple commercial cooperation to include ‘four common understandings’. These four common understandings are mutual innovation in marketing, mutual benefit in the supply chain, mutual effort for public welfare, and a mutual understanding of business culture,” said vice-chairman Jiang Shijie.

Pagoda is one of the largest fruit retail chain stores in China. This company continues to innovate fruit supply and retail, and has done so for more than 20 years. The company currently owns more than 4,600 shops all over China and has more than 70 million online and offline members. They service more than 200 million people per year. They also own 28 storage and distribution centers across China, and they have more than 200 specially-contracted suppliers across the world. In 2018 Pagoda broke their retail record of 10 billion yuan [1.54 billion USD]. They have long invested in innovative retail channels and are now among the leading fruit retail companies in China.

Zespri red heart kiwi fruit

“Pagoda carries out comprehensive and in-depth integration and reconstruction of the entire supply chain from plantation to retail market. They work hard to help farmers produce top-quality fruit and sell these fruits for good prices. They help their cooperative partners in the ecosphere to raise quality and increase efficiency, so that all parties benefit together. They also support their employees to improve their own value and gain respectability. And they help consumers enjoy safe, healthy, top-quality, delicious fruits.” This is according to Tian Xiqiu, vice-chairman of Pagoda Group.

“We also thank those who support and trust Pagoda. We hope Pagoda and Zespri can continue their high-frequency interaction. We hope to move forward and together provide the world with delicious fruit,” he added.

Kiwi fruit is the national fruit of New Zealand and Zespri is its most well-known brand. Zespri has always worked hard to provide consumers with nutrient-rich kiwi fruit. According to Huang Guohui, head of Zespri China, “Zespri has engaged in the cultivation of new kiwi fruit varieties right from the moment the company was established. We work closely together with the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research. We have developed a number of new kiwi fruit varieties through a combination of natural and scientific technologies.

This new variety of Zespri kiwi fruit is known as Red19. This red kiwi fruit variety represents a milestone in the cooperation between Zespri and the research institute. Red19 has red fruit flesh and an exquisite flavor. This variety is fragrant and sweet like a berry and contains a variety of anthocyanins that are beneficial for our health.”

Jiang Shijie, head of Zespri China

Zhu Qidong, vice-chairman of Pagoda Group and head of international purchasing, said during the ceremony, “the success that Zespri shows in brand building offers a valuable learning opportunity for us. And even more important is their rigorous investment in product quality control. The Pagoda team is confident in their ability to promote Zespri red kiwi fruit in the Chinese market according to the same high standards of Zespri. Pagoda works hard to establish a firm foundation for closer cooperation between the two companies. And at the same time they do their best to provide Chinese consumers with a steady supply of fresh, delicious new kiwi fruit varieties.”

During the promotion of Red19, one Pagoda customer shared the story of her experience with kiwi fruit. Ms. Jin loves eating kiwi fruit and often buys an entire box of kiwi fruit. When the red kiwi fruit became available in Shanghai she could not help but rush to the store to get her hands on a box of red kiwi fruit. “The red heart of this kiwi fruit is very sweet and the flavor is quite rich,” said Ms. Jin. “Leaving the fruit to soften a little bit will not change the experience.”

Zespri red heart kiwi fruit

After the activities finished, Shanghai Broadcasting Station and other mainstream media interviewed spokespeople for Zespri and Pagoda. Yang Qian, head of the Pagoda marketing center told the reporters that: “Zespri and Pagoda will soon join in an effort to support left-behind children in China’s countryside. We hope to use kiwi fruit as a way to contribute to the improvement of society.”